Pesto Mac and Goat Cheese

Total Time:
25 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for baking dish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 3/4 cups Parmesan
  • 1 pound mini pasta shells
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 16 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce, store-bought or home-made
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  • Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Preheat the broiler and arrange a rack on top.

  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan over low heat. In a large bowl add the garlic, basil, panko, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Add the melted butter and toss to combine. Reserve.

  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, put the half-and-half in a small pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Put the pot over low heat and add the half-and-half mixture. When it simmers, add the goat cheese and whisk until smooth. Add in the remaining Parmesan and whisk until melted.

  • Add the pasta and stir to coat. Stir in the pesto, reserved cooking water, salt, and pepper. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed.

  • Pour the pasta mixture into the buttered baking dish and top with the panko mixture. Put under the broiler until the mixture bubbles and the top is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


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